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Hidden History of the Human Race

Hidden History of the Human Race

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Published by paulmaloles

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Published by: paulmaloles on Jun 06, 2010
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Forbidden Archeology The Hidden History of the Human Race
 byMichael A. Cremo and Richard L. ThompsonSample ChapterINTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSIn 1979, researchers at the Laetoli, Tanzania, sitein East Africa discovered footprints in volcanic ashdeposits over 3.6 million years old. Mary Leakey andothers said the prints were indistinguishable fromthose of modern humans. To these scientists, thismeant only that the human ancestors of 3.6 million years ago had remarkably modern feet. But accordingto other scientists, such as physical anthropologist R.H. Tuttle of the University of Chicago, fossil bones of the known australopithecines of 3.6 million years agoshow they had feet that were distinctly apelike. Hencethey were incompatible with the Laetoli prints. In anarticle in the March 1990 issue of Natural History, Tuttle confessed that "we are left with somewhat of amystery." It seems permissible, therefore, to consider apossibility neither Tuttle nor Leakey mentioned--thatcreatures with anatomically modern human bodies tomatch their anatomically modern human feetexisted some 3.6 million years ago in East Africa.Perhaps, as suggested in the illustration on theopposite page, they coexisted with more apelike
creatures. As intriguing as this archeologicalpossibility may be, current ideas about humanevolution forbid it.Knowledgeable persons will warn against positingthe existence of anatomically modern humans millionsof years ago on the slim basis of the Laetoli footprints.But there is further evidence. Over the past fewdecades, scientists in Africa have uncovered fossilbones that look remarkably human. In 1965, BryanPatterson and W. W. Howells found a surprisinglymodern humerus (upper arm bone) at Kanapoi,Kenya. Scientists judged the humerus to be over 4million years old.Henry M. McHenry and Robert S. Corruccini of the University of California said the Kanapoi humerus was "barely distinguishable from modern Homo."Similarly, Richard Leakey said the ER 1481 femur(thighbone) from Lake Turkana, Kenya, found in 1972, was indistinguishable from that of modern humans.Scientists normally assign the ER 1481 femur, whichis about 2 million years old, to prehuman Homohabilis. But since the ER 1481 femur was found byitself, one cannot rule out the possibility that the restof the skeleton was also anatomically modern.Interestingly enough, in 1913 the German scientistHans Reck found at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, acomplete anatomically modern human skeleton instrata over 1 million years old, inspiring decades of controversy.Here again, some will caution us not to set a fewisolated and controversial examples against theoverwhelming amount of noncontroversial evidence
showing that anatomically modern humans evolvedfrom more apelike creatures fairly recently--about100,000 years ago, in Africa, and, in the view of some,in other parts of the world as well.But it turns out we have not exhausted ourresources with the Laetoli footprints, the Kanapoihumerus, and the ER 1481 femur. Over he pasteight years, Richard Thompson and I, with theassistance of our researcher Stephen Bernath, haveamassed an extensive body of evidence that calls intoquestion current theories of human evolution. Some of this evidence, like the Laetoli footprints, is fairlyrecent. But much of it was reported by scientists inthe nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. And as you can see, our discussion of this evidence fillsup quite a large book.Without even looking at this older body of evidence,some will assume that there must be something wrong with it--that it was properly disposed of by scientistslong ago, for very good reasons. Richard and I havelooked rather deeply into that possibility. We haveconcluded, however, that the quality of thiscontroversial evidence is no better or worse than thesupposedly noncontroversial evidence usually citedin favor of current views about human evolution.But Forbidden Archeology is more than a well-documented catalog of unusual facts. It is also asociological, philosophical, and historical critique of the scientific method, as applied to thequestion of human origins and antiquity.

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